By Ronald Kabuye
Mothers have been advised to breast feed their children for at least two years and beyond in order to prevent malnutrition in their children.
This has been revealed by the principal nutritionist at the ministry of health Dr. Samalie Namukose during the ministry’s media breakfast meeting in Kampala about the burden of malnutrition in the country.
Dr. Namukose says children should also be breastfed in the first hour of their birth, exclusively breastfed in the first six months and then continue to breast for not less than two years in addition to complementary foods with micro nutrients like vitamin A and iron at least three times a day.
The ministry’s survey indicate that only 42% practice the above while 29% of children below 5 years are stunted (very short), 4%, 4%, 11%, 50% children are wasted (too thin) , over weight, under weight and anemic respectively while 32% of women are anemic which puts the lives of their children at risky.
The rural areas are the most affected with under nutrition simply because they either don’t feed on the right foods, quantities or frequencies.
Karamoja, West Nile, Tooro, Busoga, Acholi, Lango regions are the most affected with malnutrition while West and central regions have the most numbers of over weight since they feed so much on fast foods with lots of fats.
It should also be noted that men are affected with malnutrition.
Dr. Diana Atwine the permanent secretary in the ministry of health said its incumbent upon everyone to have the right foods for their families by balancing the right diet.
She also expressed need to have permanent initiation of nutrition programmes and other factors that can bring about malnutrition like poor sanitation in schools so that children act as change agents.